Located 2 miles off the south coast of England, this beautiful diamond shaped isle is 147 square miles. With stunning seascapes and landscapes driving around the isle the scenery changes between beaches, chalk cliffs, rolling hills and farmlands. From the North to South it is only 13 miles and from East to west 27 miles. Over half the isle is a designated area of outstanding beauty, so make sure to take your camera!
One of the most scenic roads in the UK can be found here, which is the A3055, an A-Class Road which forms the Southern portion of the circular around-the-Island loop, the northern section being the A3054. Driving from East to West takes about an hour with stop offs at scenic vistas and bays along the way. The island has more than 60 miles of coastline and 500 miles of footpaths and bridleways. Each side of the island has a unique coastline, with the south offering the most rugged, especially at St Catherine’s point.
The Isle of Wight has a rich cultural and artistic legacy. It has been a source of inspiration to artists, artisans, poets and writers dating back to the 1800s. The renowned which have made this isle their home include, Winston Churchill, Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, John Keats, Karl Marx, Alfred Lord Tennyson and Dame Ellen MacArthur. The Royals have also appreciated the beauty of this Isle with Queen Victoria having her summer home, Osborne House on the north of the isle with the perfect vista of England.
From lush golden sands on award winning beaches, family entertainment in adventure and wildlife parks, water sports, museums, galleries, gardens, historic sites and fine seafood, and over 60 visitor attractions, the Isle of Wight has something for everyone. Fossil hunting is a craze with the island having over 25 different recognised species. Having its own microclimate the isle has a range of home grownn produce such as cheese, honey, tomatoes, oils and chillies which are all exports. It also boasts its own vineyard and has biggest garlic farm in the UK with over 20 varieties.
The Isle is renowned for award winning music festivals and from February right through to October hosts Arts, Cars, Cycling and even a Garlic festival! Home to the oldest carnival in the UK, Ryde Carnival started out in 1888, a year after the Golden Jubilee celebrations for Queen Victoria and has continued ever since.
Enjoy the delightful island life and leave your anxieties behind on mainland! A known fact, that the sea aura has natural healing properties which boosts your health and vitality. The mere fact that to reach the isle you have to cross the Solent, plays with human physic and gives the sense of detachment from normal life once the ferry leaves the shore. Create your own island adventure and return for more!
Seaview Hotel is a unique family owned property dating back to 1820, which has been hosting guests ranging from the glitterati in the heydays to honeymooners and families. Found in the heart of Seaview, a quaint fishing village, two minutes from the shore line, this three star hotel is ideal for everyone, whether a family, couple or dog owners. Approaching the hotel by car a beautiful view of the Solent can be seen.
Convenient car parking is round the back of the hotel, be mindful of the narrow roads. With only 27 rooms, 7 in the new wing and 20 in the main house and annexes, the small team are able to provide a warm, intimate service to all guests.
The hotel has a naval theme and throughout the common areas of the hotel you will find various shipping pictures, from naval ships to luxury cruise liners. Various shipping artefacts are also donated to the hotel which are randomly displayed in the corridors. There is even a fine picture of Captain Scott’s last dinner before his final voyage.
There are plenty of dining options at the hotel, there is a fine dining restaurant, brasserie, bar, lounge and its very own in-house pub, which is popular with the locals. It also has Public loos within the building, this is because the new wing of the hotel was originally on the site of public loos so this had to be replaced.
Being a stone throw from the beach it is very convenient to walk out in your beach gear in the summer time. Two picturesque walks along the coastal path can be taken from here, to the right, heading south east to Seagrove bay, Priory Bay and onwards to St Helens and to the left, heading north east, is Ryde, the only coastal town on the isle with the widest expanse of sandy beach. This takes about 35 minutes. Rock pools, very popular with kids as they hunt for crabs, are plenty at the start of the coastal path. Tide times are provided by the hotel as is a list of the passing ships. Whilst on the beach you can see which ships head in to port.
The gruesome sea forts, an eyesore for some, were commissioned by Palmerston and built in 1865-1880 to deter foreign invasion, which never happened. Round the corner from the hotel is the Sea view yacht club which was built in 1893 and home of the iconic dinghys native to Seaview and which can be seen bobbing on the Solent.
The hotel offers a variety of rooms from standard fare to deluxe and individually designed suites, suitable for families and couples with their own private garden. Views from the hotel are of the Solent and village. Anomalous London stayed in the new boutique style deluxe rooms, designed with a contemporary twist. Warm colours of beige, khaki and brown are used to create a welcoming room with a king size bed, which can be split into twins if so required. The wooden venetian blinds perfectly let in the right amount of light and the matching floral curtain and bed spread complete the room. Bringing in the coastal theme, the bamboo luggage rack, mirror and tissue box are nice touches as is the full length mirror to ensure you look your best at the beach from every angle!
The room has a novel lighting system with a three way dimmer switch.
Bathrobes and slippers are provided to relax in and the luxury hot drinks available for your convenience are Twinings Tea and Lichfields fairtrade filter coffee. Mineral water is also provided.
Anomalous London stayed in Room 29 on the top floor which had an arched window with a view of Seaview rooftops and the Solent in the distance.
The bathroom has a lovely double sized corner bath with well positioned taps. The tap forcet is in the ceiling! Filling up the tub is a novel way like a waterfall. The blue led lights in the bath create the effect of bathing in the sea and to top it all off there is a TV, yes a Tilevision TV in the bath. So lie back, relax and enjoy your favourite show or movie after a day on the beach. A drench shower is also provided.
Damana Earth and Sun toiletries are provided which is a quirky range of products taking inspiration from the sun and earth to provide enriched herbal, subtly perfumed, naturally scented products. Designed with gold metal caps, please open with dry hands!
The main dining room has been created from a conservatory and has a theme of a sailing boat. Sails cover the conservatory panels and lovely nautical themed photographs, taken by a local artist, adorn the walls,.
Head Chef Bruce Theobald has been trained in fine dining restaurants in London and most recently worked alongside Billy Reid at Danesfield house. His mission has been to create a reasonably priced three course fish menu with all the splendour of fine dining at the coast.
This has been achieved by combining unusual ingredients and combinations using the freshest of ingredients. The fish is landed in the kitchen daily and the hotel has its very own farm which provides the finest meats.
Recommended three courses to try: the famous crab ramekin which is very flavoursome and includes both white and brown crab meat oven baked with cheese; Monkfish served with pork belly is an unusual combination but went well with the butternut squash puree and crispy sea vegetables; Dessert was a nice white chocolate mousse served with chargrilled peaches and berries.
Dining at the Seaview restaurant is a leisurely experience as everything is cooked fresh.
As the island has an abundance of lobster, crab, bass and mineral rich seaweed such as samphire make sure to take advantage of what’s on offer at this restaurant.
Enjoy the fine wines available and the freshly made sour dough bread whilst you wait.
Breakfast is served daily till 10am in the Seaview restaurant. The cold buffet has a good selection of fresh fruit and pastries. The hot breakfasts are made to order and even include kippers and smoked haddock. A variety of eggs can be made from the poached eggs benedict, florentine and royale to rumbled eggs! This is a twist to the standard scrambled egg, which is also available.
The finest award winning black tea, Birchall, sourced from the Kenyan Rift valley, is served at breakfast time. A great way to start the day.
The mess is a brasserie style restaurant at the front of the hotel with a terrace. It serves the same menu as the Pump bar. A unique collection of warships and cruise liner pictures adorn the walls. The lounge is similar to a naval wardroom and has nautical memorabilia and quirky sail-shaped tables.
Home to red and fallow deer, highland cattle and pigs which provides the hotel with the finest beef, venison and pork. With a collection of hens, fresh free range eggs are in abundance. There is a vegetable garden which supplies the kitchen with fresh produce and herbs throughout the year.
Car and foot passenger ferries run to the Island from Southampton, Portsmouth and Lymington every day of the year which takes about 45 minutes.
There is also a hovercraft, the only one left in the world which can carry about 70 people and is the fastest way to reach Ryde from Portsmouth, in only 10 minutes!
Anomalous London travelled from Portsmouth. The journey time from London to Portsmouth is just over an hour on the scenic A3 dual carriageway, thanks to the Hindhead tunnel.
The Wightlink ferry service was used to Fishbourne which is only a twenty minute drive to Seaview. The ferry crossing well organised with two decks for cars and two decks for sitting, inside and outside. All passengers have to vacate their vehicle for the journey.
Costa coffee is available both on board and at the terminal for refreshments. If sea sickness is an issue make sure to have some ginger cookies or ginger tea. Apparently ginger helps and you can also buy ‘Quizzy biscuits’ on board.
The isle has lots of hidden gems which are waiting to be discovered.
Find your idyllic safe haven, whether it is unspoilt beaches, hidden coves or clifftop paths with amazing vistas of the coast line.
A quote from Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park sums up Anomalous London’s experience,
“She thinks of nothing but the Isle of Wight and she calls it The Island, as it there were no other islands in the world.”
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